Spring, Somerset House

Spring business card

Based in Somerset House, Spring is the new restaurant from chef and owner Skye Gyngell who used to run Petersham Nurseries. As you might expect from a dining room residing in such a grand building, it’s a very pretty space. It was all very tranquil with soft lighting, plenty of pink everywhere and handsome waiters dressed as sailors; I felt like I was in a Jean Paul Gaultier advert.

Outside

Inside

Food on the whole was hearty and unpretentious with a rustic style of presentation. To start, the vitello tonnato (£13) which was a blend of cold veal with a mayo-like tuna sauce (sounds an odd combination but it works brilliantly) and the tagliolini with lemon sage and cremé fraiche (£11.50) were both really enjoyable. The latter was a pasta dish I would gladly eat all night long.

Veal

Taglioni

For main, the guinea fowl with celery, carrots, farrow (a type of pulse similar to pearl barley) and parsley sauce (£27) was particularly impressive because the bird was so well cooked. Whenever I’ve had guinea fowl in the past there’s always been a small part of it that’s a tad dry but not here – every inch of the meat was insanely moist with a crisp, well seasoned skin. Utterly divine.

Guinea fowl

With the slow cooked pork shoulder (£26) I’ve never had meat quite like it; the quality was simply sublime. It was served atop a mound of polenta and girolles which had the potential to be a plate of ploppy slop yet it was far from it and the flavours were spot on.

Pork

For dessert, the meringue, miyagawa sorbet (bless you), candied ginger and Jersey cream (£8) was one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten in yonks. The pressed chocolate and hazelnut cake (£8) was certainly nutty but a touch on the dry side. The prune and Armagnac tart with crème fraiche ice cream (£8) was a boozy little number which seriously satisfied my sweet craving.

Meringue

Chocolate cake

Prune tart

My only gripe with our meal was with our dashing sommelier who when asked to recommend a glass of red, suggested the most expensive at £17 which was (and always is) a little cheeky in my book.

Spring isn’t the sort of place you’re ever going to have a bargain basement kind of meal but for the portion sizes and quality of both the ingredients and cooking, I thought it was well worth it. I left feeling full, well looked after and thoroughly satisfied.

8/10

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